CEO Update 27th November 2020
There is always much speculation before a Comprehensive Spending Review and much criticism after: that is the norm whatever political party is in power and whatever is delivered.
Whilst seemingly large monetary amounts are thrown around, my prime concern, in simplest terms, is, what will reach us in the social care sector and will any reach Autism at Kingwood? We have shared research that makes it clear social care needs at least £7 billion in order to meet needs effectively. So whilst the £1bn increase is certainly welcomed, it really isn’t enough to make the difference it needs to. The reality is much of it will get swallowed up the many different local authority overspent areas, all reaching out in hope of getting something to help.
It is excellent news for many that the National Living Wage next year will increase by 2% to £8.91 as a minimum (for workers over 25) next April. However, it is likely that income we receive from many of our support packages from local authorities will not increase next year, and so it is my challenge, as Chief Executive, to find ways to increase our income to cover the salaries increase, as well as operating costs increase and expenditure to keep people safe during Covid-19 increases.
However, that aside, the Government announcement on the new testing programme was welcomed on Monday. As a support provider registered with CQC for the provision of Domiciliary Care, we now have access to weekly testing for those staff who chose to take part in a regular testing programme. Keen to allow employees a way to get reassurance on their health and lower transmission rates, we have placed sufficient orders for all of our staff and once received will be distributed. However, it is important to keep perspective: The British Medical Journal (BMJ) have conducted research that found high rates of asymptomatic Covid-19 positive employees in a customer facing role in a supermarket. Working in social care with the right guidelines and PPE in use will considerably lower transmission risk and makes a safer environment than many.
We thought we had one confirmed case of covid-19 this week, however we have been informed that it was a laboratory error and so again, no positive cases amongst our staff, nor the people we support. I cannot thank everyone working and visiting people we support enough for being so considerate and conscientious.